When looking for a construction project manager, there are certain qualities that you should identify. This article outlines five qualities that are absolutely crucial when choosing the best fit for a project manager.
The success of any construction project is defined by three things – Leadership, Safety, and Timeliness. A bad construction project manager can end up costing you money that you don’t have, so it’s important to know what to look for when choosing one. Successful construction companies, such as Horizon Retail Construction, know exactly what they are looking for when they pick a project manager. Here are five qualities you should look for when conducting your search for someone to direct the building of your project.
1. Great Communication Skills
Communication skills are good for anyone to possess, but they become especially important when overseeing a construction project. Team members need to specifically know what they are supposed to be doing at all times to ensure timely completion of the project. Mishaps and errors can set you back days and if severe enough, could derail the entire project. Project managers need to be able to take the overall construction project and break it down into smaller goals that can be completed each day.
Communication is also imperative when interacting with clients, keeping them informed of progress and any obstacles. Even when everything is going well great communication skills will add value to your company.
As Patrick Christensen, the president of Horizon Retail Construction puts it, “A great construction manager can have a great process in place, but if they can’t communicate that process and its many intricacies, or if they can’t communicate progress reports to the client, the overall work could suffer. How a manager communicates and follows up is crucial.”
2. Ability to Set Priorities
In a big construction project, there are multiple things being accomplished all over the place and many at the same time! Sometimes unforeseen circumstances, like bad weather, can prevent you from working on a certain aspect of the project. These situations will force workers to be reassigned to the next most important part of the project. It is up to the construction manager to assess what goals are of what importance so as not to waste valuable time and resources.
3. Solve Problems Quickly
There’s rarely a construction project that goes from beginning to end without encountering any problems or delays. Your construction project manager needs to keep a cool head when these situations arise and have the brainpower to come up with unique solutions tailored to each situation.
One of the reasons why Horizon Retail Construction became one of the most trusted names in construction is because of their ability to solve problems, no matter what the cause. Mr. Christensen shares a unique perspective of responsibility he drills into all his employees. “Part of our service orientation on the quality side is we’ll mobilize and we’ll pick up these pieces whether you fail or someone else fails. I can’t let my customer not buy the right material. It’s their vendor. It’s their purchase order. It’s their shipping instructions, but when it shows up at [our] site wrong it’s [our] problem.”
4. Facilitate Teamwork
While the project manager is the one who has the vision, at the end of the day it’s the actual team that carries out the work. The construction team needs to maintain open communication with the project manager, and also with each other. A solid construction manager will create a cooperative environment where everyone’s number one priority is the successful completion of the project.
5. Delegation of Tasks
As anyone in the retail construction industry knows, one person can’t do it all. Of course, that doesn’t stop some people from trying. Construction project managers need to trust their crew and know when to just let them do their jobs. The ability to recognize and assess the strengths and weaknesses of their team and adjust accordingly is crucial for the sanity of any construction project manager.
Construction managers often have to delegate leadership positions (like a “crew chief”) so that they can focus on the bigger picture. Having the ability to delegate tasks based on skill sets becomes incredibly important when trying to facilitate a project.
Construction projects are massive and complex, involving many little details that need to be executed perfectly. A qualified construction project manager will know how to manage any given situation and create a hardworking safe environment. Look for the qualities discussed here in your next project manager, and you will save yourself time and stress.